Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    45
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Coordination issues

    I've been "learning" bellydance for about 4 years now, and one thing I still have trouble with is coordination. I cant walk and shimmy with my hips or shoulders without looking like I have something stuck up my behind, I cant walk and do any movements and I certainly cannot layer anything. I would love to be able to actually move around when I dance (for myself), but I'm so darn clumsy and uncoordinated. I try to do different exercises with layering, ones where I can do both movements with good posture... But when joined together, no matter how hard I try, I leave that posture. I don't want to just keep going when I go out of posture since doing that would put that into my muscle memory and probably make it harder to refine later in life. What would you guys suggest?


    Also, on the topic of learning, I got a ton of videos on Ebay for like 10 dollars. One of them was a bellydance video in with a lot of yoga and pilates videos. It's called "Flex Appeal." I watched about 10 minutes of it and the woman makes bellydance seem like such a sexual dance. However, some of the video looked okay. What do you guys think about it?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4,624
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I am not sure what to suggest. One thing that struck me though was what you said about posture. Can it be that you are so "afraid" of losing your posture that you get too stiff and therefore can't move around? To move you have to adjust your body and change posture. Perhaps you need to practice on the dynamic, relaxed posture? I'm thinking of it as locking the knee and getting stiff legs or keeping the legs straight but not locked and ready to go

    Does this make sense?

    I have never heard of flex appeal, but if you don't like her approach then just ditch it

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    45
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I guess that could be it. I am really particular about my posture. I'm very prone to putting my back out if I'm not careful. My doctor and therapist (who has similar issues) think it's good for me to continue practicing, but I really have to be careful about how I move. I tend to keep things a bit more tense when it comes to posture, it feels a lot better on my back.


    I skipped though some of Flex Appeal, Kathy doesn't seem to know what she's doing! Haha. Ansuya is in it, though. At the end Ansuya explains exactly how to do it, Kathy just tells you to. I guess I'll keep it because of Ansuya's part in it. She's a pretty good teacher and really breaks things down.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,285
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've seen a piece of Flex Appeal on youtube, I think after reading it about it on this forum.

    It is not a DVD I would use. It doesn't look like the instructor knows what she's doing. She seems like a 6-week wonder (or even a 1-weekend wonder). If I want to learn how to belly dance, I'd like to learn it from a real belly dancer.

    As for tips on learning how to layer and travel... my suggestion is that you work with a teacher who uses a lot of layering and traveling in her dancing and in her classes. Do you take live classes at all, or have you studied independently this entire time? The reason I ask is because people who have never worked with a live teacher very often have this problem. These are the kinds of boundaries that are hard to push yourself past if you don't have an instructor to teach you, correct you, and push you. It's easy to stand there and figure out how to do isolations on your own, but not as easy to figure out how to move around gracefully and integrate those isolations into that, transitioning seamlessly and keeping nice lines.

    If you do have a live instructor, and after 4 years of classes you still can't get past this hurdle, I suggest finding another instructor (you don't necessarily have to ditch the current one... taking classes from 2 different teachers might be what you need).

    Aside from that, just keep trying. Yes, try to keep proper posture, but don't beat yourself up too much if you end up "letting go" of your posture when you are trying to layer. It's true that you have to practice the moves correctly in order to get the full benefit of the practice, but sometimes we do need to let go of perfection in order to learn something new. If you can layer a shimmy with some chest movements in less-than-perfect posture, as long as you aren't doing anything that hurts, then settle for that less-than-perfect posture for now, and practice the layering, and then after a week or so start to slowly improve that posture as the layering becomes easier.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Chitown, USA
    Posts
    2,207
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    If it's Kathy Smith, forget it. As Yame said, she may very well be a six week wonder but I have heard from many that she concentrates more on sexing it up than portraying bellydance in a true light. Also, she is a fitness expert which is not the same as a bellydance expert.

    I had posture conflicts too as I was always tall for my age so many people (thankfully) always stressed to me and even hovered over me to make sure I did not slouch. This has led to having little to no back problems which is fine for just about anything. However, when I was learning to bellydance, I had to learn to "relax" a lot of my body parts so that I could be more flexible. Also, I hated relaxing my belly as I spent most of my life tightening it, and then I had to let it loose? But that too goes back to where it should, so I was able to relax in knowing that my whole posture would not suffer.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,409
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I suspect you are trying so hard that you're tripping yourself up with all sorts of tension and stress.

    When my students have trouble relaxing or putting energy into their dance I yell, "Run, run, run!!!" They dash from one end of the studio to the other a couple of times then immediately return to what they were doing before. That burst of running relaxes them, gives 'em a burst of adreniline, makes them laugh, and they always do better afterward. You might try it. Couldn't hurt, might help.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
    Member LilithNoor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Worcestershire UK
    Posts
    268
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Some really good advice here!

    I totally agree, posture is important, but so is not feeling like you have a stick up your jacksie.

    Try and alternate between working hard on your posture and just having a good dance around. Your body will soon tell you if your posture (especially your pelvis) has slipped enough that it's not good for you- check in every few minutes to see if there's any ache developing in your lower back. You may also be tucking your pelvis too far forward- check yourself out in a mirro and see what you look like with the pelvis relaxed, then keep adjusting until you find a compromise between duck bottom and stick bottom.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Have you tried mixing the two very slooowly? Then bring it back to "normal" speed.

    To get grace you need to be working in automatic brain state - ie you must not be thinking about how to generate the movement - it needs to just "happen". You also need to use as few muscles as possible - for this you need to relax.

    From your post I suspect you are not doing either.

    For your posture, what problem are you correcting - and how are you correcting it? For instance, if you tend to drop your pelvis, you need to pick up with the abs - not "tuck" with the glutes. And more important - you need to balance your muscles to make this "natural" eg stretch your hamstrings and do it 24/7.

  9. #9
    Member BigJim's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Kashmir has made a very good point.... it has to do with your mind getting in the way. After 4 years you probably have a pretty good shimmie.. and you probably have pretty good chest slides. But when you try and put the two together (or shimmy and go for a walk) you are probably concentrating so hard on the slide that the coordination seems to go south on you.... Don't think about it just do it.... put on some music with some flow to it and concentrate on the music... start moving and within a week it will be like magic...

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    45
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Have you tried mixing the two very slooowly? Then bring it back to "normal" speed.

    To get grace you need to be working in automatic brain state - ie you must not be thinking about how to generate the movement - it needs to just "happen". You also need to use as few muscles as possible - for this you need to relax.

    From your post I suspect you are not doing either.

    For your posture, what problem are you correcting - and how are you correcting it? For instance, if you tend to drop your pelvis, you need to pick up with the abs - not "tuck" with the glutes. And more important - you need to balance your muscles to make this "natural" eg stretch your hamstrings and do it 24/7.
    My pelvis tends to revery backwards, especially with most hip movements. I can do slides without a problem, but others are hard not to do that. Usually I put my back out when I make mistakes with this type of movement. I really do have to be careful. Putting my back out leaves be bedridden for quite some time. I've started doing more yoga and pilates for this reason. I want to fix my issues with my back before continuing bellydance, but I also enjoy practicing.

    Despite what you think, I do these movements when I am completely relaxed. I start tensing up only after I start going out of posture and it puts a toll on my back.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •